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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 10 Mar 2011
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Morocco in summer

Hi All, i am planning my first visit to the Moroccan Pistes and the only time i can go is late June into early July. Will it be too hot or is it cool enough in the Atlas mountains? Andy
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Old 10 Mar 2011
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Morocco.

Hi Andy, this topic has been covered often but: South of the Atlas can and will reach 50 C but bone dry. Riding in this heat without drinking can lead to falling off the bike within one hour. A 3 litre Camelbac is essential with a rate of consumption of 1 1/2 hours. You'll not sweat in this heat as the moisture evaporates straight to the air. You won't realize you are dehydrating. Do not ride with bare skin as you need a loose top to make a microclimate inside, this quite apart from sun burn.
Use a water soaked cotton neck wrap to cool by evaporation. You'll need to replace lost salts too. Salted peanuts perhaps? Forget expensive rehydration kits from chemists....Soft drinks, especially Lucosade, are almost spot on for replacing salts.
Be aware that direct heat to the forehead and or exercise such as walking up a nearby, small hill can cause heat stroke and kill in less than one hour!
Don't forget to cover the back of the neck from sunburn too and get Cat 4 sunglasses, for glaciers and deserts.

The coast and high atlas will be a lot less hot than south of the Atlas. In the extreme heat, get up before sun up and get out of the sun and off the road before the heat really builds up. A later evening ride is possible too.
Note Ramadan is during July this year I think. It lasts 4 weeks. Travellers are exempt the daylight fasting rule but many cafe's won't be open. There is a feast each day at sundown.

I researched this a lot for just such a jaunt to include visits to two schools in Saharan oases. Neither school teacher batted an eyelid at the idea of visiting in July and August in the hottest part of southern Morocco.

Wear light coloured, loose clothing to reflect the light and cover the bike's seat to stop it heating up....a pair of pillow cases maybe. That's what comes to mind for now. Contact me if you want further info. Lindsay.
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Old 10 Mar 2011
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+1 what Linzi wrote

Plus... you know when it's really hot when you can't have the visor open as it's like riding into a hairdryer.

The reason for the salt is that you need to be drinking so much water (4+ litres per day) that you are effectively flushing the salts from your body. Dehydration and salt deficiency both manifest themselves by lethargy, slow thinking and slow reactions.

Take some optrex to wash/refresh your eyes at nighttime, don't forget to put sunblock on your lips. Yes, it's cooler at mountain altitudes, but the UV is stronger, so even more sunblock is needed.

Ramadan dates are triggered by the moon so follow the lunar calendar which moves back against the Gregorian calendar by 12-13 days per year, hence
- 1 to 29 Aug 2011,
- 20 Jul to 18 Aug 2012,
- 9 Jul to 7 Aug 2013...

Yes, the Qur'an exempts travellers from the need to fast, but that was when people walked or rode on camels, it wasn't meant to include blatting around on a motorbike.
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Old 10 Mar 2011
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Hi Andy,

I'm planning on being there at the same time.

Leaving UK on the 18th June and Returning on the 10th July, Riding there and back.

We could meet up if you want.
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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Hi Mr Fox, it would be good to meet up, i will get back to you with my dates once i firm them up (need to speak to work & wife). At the moment the plan is ; ferry to Santander and to take 6-7 days to get to Morocco which will let us see some of rural Spain. About 2 weeks in Morocco and a week to get home. Maybe fit in the HU meeting. Andy
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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not just salt

It isn't just salt (sodium chloride) that you need to replace but calcium (causes cramps) and potassium (causes muscle weakness and constipation).

A simple visual check to see if you are drinking enough (or if you forget to count the volume) is to monitor your urine output and its colour. If it's dark in colour (darler the worse it is) then chances are you are dehydrated.
It is considered best practice to drink small amounts very often during the day rather than one huge dollop which doesn't have enough time to hydrate you properly before it is expelled.

A good watering before going to sleep and early in morning help too.
If in doubt- get advice from your medic.
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